HC Deb 06 July 1978 vol 953 cc815-41

Lords amendment: No. 55, in page 12, line 22, leave out ("may") and insert ("shall")

11.0 p.m.

The Secretary of State for Scotland (Mr. Bruce Milan)

I beg to move, That this House doth disagree with the Lords in the said amendment.

I understand that with this we shall be discussing Lords amendments nos. 56, 57, 58 and the respective amendments thereto.

Mr. Speaker

Yes, if that is the wish of the House.

Mr. Millan

These amendments relate to clause 26, which provides that the standing orders of the Assembly may include provisions for the appointment of committees.

The effect of Lords amendment no. 55 would be to make it mandatory for the Assembly to appoint committees. There was a provision in the Scotland and Wales Bill for detailed arrangements concerning the role and composition of Assembly committees, but we took the view that with the Scotland Bill it was unnecessary and an interference with the rights of the Assembly that we should lay down mandatory provisions for the establishment of committees. At the same time we included clause 26, which is a kind of steer to the Assembly in the direction of appointing committees, but it is not a mandatory requirement. I think that it would be a great pity to make this a mandatory requirement on the Assembly, because it should have as much freedom as possible to regulate its own procedures.

That is why I recommend the House not to accept Lords amendment No. 55.

Lords amendment no. 56 is consequential.

Lords amendment no. 57 provides that no committee shall be appointed with functions not relating to devolved matters". I think it was agreed in the debate in the other place—and I hope that it will be agreed here as well—that nothing should or, indeed, can be done to prevent the Assembly and its committees from discussing any matter they like, including non-devolved matters. This House would not be able to do anything, once the Assembly is in operation, to prevent it from discussing a non-devolved matter. It will not, of course, be able to take effective decisions on non-devolved matters, but it will often find it convenient, for example, to discuss a non-devolved matter in the context of its devolved responsibilities.

For example, on occasion the Assembly or one of its committees will certainly want to discuss North Sea oil, because it will be incidental, to put it no higher, to many of the functions for which the Assembly will be responseible. Anoher example is transport. The Assembly or one if its committees, in discussing its own transport responsibilities, may wish to discuss the relationship of British Rail, which is not a devolved responsibility, with it. own responsibilities. Therefore, I do not think that we can effectively prevent the Assembly, or one of its committees, from discussing a non-devolved matter. Indeed, I should think it very unlikely that the Assembly would wish to establish a committee to deal with non-devolved matter.

Given that kind of situation, I think it would be undesirable to write any further prohibition or restriction into the Bill. Clause 26 is at the moment a perfectly understandable simple, straightforward provision. If we add qualifications or further restrictions to that provision, I think that we shall be in danger of causing muddle and confusion.

For that reason, I do not recommend the House to accept Lords amendment no. 57.

Lords amendment no. 58 deals with the question of the party balance in committees once established. The view taken by the Government was that this again was an unnecessary provision. It is provision, which in certain circumstances might lead to difficulties. Nevertheless, Lords amendment no. 58 is expressed in fairly modest and moderate terms. It states that the Assembly shall secure that the balance of parties in the Assembly is as closely as practicable reflected in the membership of each such committee. It is not expressed in absolute arithmetical and mechanical terms. The Government recommend, since there is a good deal of feeling about party balance, that the House accepts Lords amendment no. 58 with the Government amendments. They involve the deletion of the words "Provided that"—a drafting amendment—and referred to in paragraph (a) above", which is consequential to what I have said about the other amendments that we are discussing.

I recommend that the House does not accept amendments nos. 55, 56 and 57, but I recommend that the House accepts amendment no. 58 with the Government amendments.

Mr. Alexander Fletcher (Edinburgh, North)

We agree with a number of the points made by the Secretary of State. We take the same broad view as he on Lords amendments nos. 55 and 56. Our purpose is not to make it mandatory for the Assembly to set up committees. I understand that Stormont had only one committee—the Public Accounts Committee. That is often quoted by Labour Members as the most recent practical example of the type of Assembly that we are now considering. We except that the Assembly will want to set up committees, but that is a decision which should be within the discretion of the Assembly.

We take a different view from that of the Secretary of State on Lords amendment no. 57. That is why we want to discuss that amendment and the amendment to it. It is important to make it clear that the standing orders of the Assembly should not allow a committee to be appointed with any functions that are not related to devolved matters. Clause 26, as amended by the Lords, does not make that clear and it could be open to incorrect interpretation. That is why we tabled our amnedment.

It has been suggested that the clause as it now stands could require a committee to be established to ensure that no functions are delegated to a committee in respect of non-devolved matters. That is not satisfactory.

Primarily we are concerned about the smooth working of the Assembly, as far at that is possible. It is obvious that the Assembly committee should not be free to consider non-devolved subjects. There are two main reasons for this. The Assembly will have a job to do. That is the purpose of the Bill, and it should not allow itself, nor should it be encouraged, to be detracted from that job by the work of its committees. It is important that such a constitutional innovation should prove itself by getting on with the job for which it is designed, particularly in its initial stage.

Mr. Dewar

Will the hon. Gentleman be introducing measures to restrict local authorities from discussing wider issues beyond the immediate remit of local government?

Mr. Fletcher

I think that the hon. Gentleman, with respect, misses the point. We have spent a lot of time in these debates in the House in dealing with the complexities of the Bill that is before us, and I think that to make an analogy with local authorities is completely different. Members of the public know that if their councillors become terribly excited about Chile or some other foreign part, they have absolutely no power to deal with it. But when we have a newly set up Assembly people might easily be led to believe that they could influence or have some responsibilities for other things.

The hon. Gentleman should know that there is still considerable confusion in people's minds as to what are the duties and functions of regions as distinct from district local authorities in Scotland. We do not want to confuse the issue any more by having committees on foreign affairs, defence and other matters which are completely outwith the responsibility and the terms of reference of the Assembly.

Mr. Dalyell

Being the politician that he is, would not the hon. Gentleman be howling for committees to consider Polaris and the Holy Loch, for instance? Having his interests, would he not certainly be in favour of a committee dealing with Treasury affairs which he would think, would impinge on what he would regard as membership of the Scottish Parliament?

Mr. Fletcher

The question is obviously rather hypothetical. I think that the point the hon. Gentleman is making is that if the Assembly, in order to get on with the job that is being delegated to it or devolved to it, is not to be led astray by the legislation which sets it up, or by the enthusiasms of its own Members, it is right that in the Bill restriction should be placed upon it.

I cannot anticipate what the enthusiasms of Members of the Assembly might be, but I can imagine that to some extent they might want to get involved immediately in matters which are clearly outwith their particular responsibility. We think this would be a constant and continuous threat. It would constantly be pushing against the frontiers of the legislation and trying to exaggerate the importance of the Assembly and the self-importance of its Members.

Our first objective, therefore, in the amendment is to concentrate the work of the Assembly's committees on education, on housing, on local government and so on—on the devolved subjects themselves. The committees should, after all, be the serious work horses—the engine room—of the Assembly. It is not too much to say that the reputation of the Assembly will be earned in the committees and in the practical work done there rather than in the Assembly chamber and in the general debates. After all, the Assembly will be free in its chamber to discuss matters of a much broader nature, but if the committees are to be the power house and the work horse it is important that they should be acting in such a way as to earn that reputation. The hon. Member for Hamilton (Mr. Robertson) appears to be disagreeing but, if I may say so, with the little experience he has so far he might just realise that it is in the Committees of this House that we like to think that the serious work is done, and we should try to point the Assembly in that direction.

If the committees were to deal with non-devolved matters, this would, as I have suggested earlier, convey the impression that the Assembly has powers which it will not possess. The right hon Gentleman mentioned North Sea oil and transport. In so far as these relate to devolved matters, the Assembly is quite entitled to have committees to discuss them. But if one thinks that, because there happens to be oil off the mainland of Scotland, the Assembly should have an energy committee looking at oil resources internationally, one can imagine how this would be blown up and exaggerated as part of the power and influence of the Assembly itself. The same could be said of transport matters. There are clearly matters relating to transport in Scotland which will be devolved to the Assembly, but if the Assembly were to study transport internationally and look at things quite outside its own remit, this again would give the committees of the Assembly an exaggerated importance.

11.15 p.m.

In these circumstances it would not be difficult for misunderstandings to be created and for disagreements to he manufactured between the Assembly and Parliament. In view of all the levels of government which Scotland will have, it is particularly important that the responsibilities and functions of each level should be as clearly understood by the general public in Scotland as possible.

It is clear from my example of districts and regional authorities that there is a great deal of confusion at present. With four levels of government—five if one includes Europe—the general public will be hard pressed to know where the responsibility for a particular function lies. Therefore, it would be wrong if the Assembly were to have a completely free hand in committees. Certainly that would happen if the Assembly set up committees on defence, foreign affairs and other matters that the hon. Member for West Lothian (Mr. Dalyell) might suggest.

Furthermore, if it set up these committees the Assembly would be looking for specialist staff to man them. Presumably the existing staff who are being trans ferred from the Scottish Office would—with all due respect to them—have no particular experience in such matters as defence and foreign affairs. Clearly it would unnecessarily increase the cost of the Assembly and the bureaucracy in it if specialists were hired for this subordinate body to look into matters which are rightly the domain of Parliament.

If one is looking at the job the Assembly has to do, if one is anxious that it should not be sending committees on missions to Chile or Quebec, or perhaps to try to borrow money from the IMF, one sees that these matters of the powers of the committees are important. I hope that Labour Members will think a little about the amendment before they launch into supporting something which I think would be to the disadvantage not only of the Assembly and Parliament but of Scottish Members of Parliament, who already will have a rather difficult job to do. Their job and their responsibilities will become more difficult if not only are devolved matters a subject of competition between them and Members of the Assembly and Parliament but of Scottish Members of Parliament, who already will have a rather difficult job to do. Their job and their responsibilities will become more difficult if not only are devolved matters a subject of competition between them and Members of the Assembly but there is some dispute about who is responsible for matters which are essentially for Parliament.

Mr. Dewar

The key amendment here, and the one on which there will be discussion and perhaps dispute, is the suggestion that the Assembly should have powers, if it thought it appropriate, to have committees looking at matters which fell without the devolved areas.

I regard this as a matter of some importance. I regard it perhaps as being more of significance in terms of the approach and attitude to the Assembly shown by the various parties in the House. Once we have established that we shall have an Assembly and have accepted the principle—the House is now in that position—it is the job of all of us to try to produce a system which is workable and will generate good will.

If one looks at any model of an Assembly or Parliament, one can always find areas in which theoretically there will be friction and disputes. No doubt, if the legendary man from Mars landed on this planet and were taken into the Palace of Westminster to inspect the system that we have created here, he would be summoning the small white van to have most of us taken away, on the ground that it was clearly the work of a lunaic and could not possibly operate. But it does operate because there are conventions that grow up, because good will exists between the parties and because there is a wish to operate the system.

The important point is that we must to some extent trust the Assembly. If we are not prepared to trust it, if we are not prepared to assume that it will be populated by adults, by people of some experience and people who have the interests of Scotland, and, indeed, of the United Kingdom, at heart, it seems to me that we shall be cabining, cribbing and confining it in an unnatural and unreasonable way. The Lords amendment, which I am sorry to see has the support of the Conservative Opposition here, is exactly that sort of mean, unnecessary and, it seems to me, wounding—I would also say "spiritually wrecking"—amendment.

Mr. Raison

The hon. Gentleman has just said that we ought to assume that the Members of the Assembly will be adult—which I certainly do assume—hut also that they will be people who have the interests of the United Kingdom at heart. However, as a matter of hard fact, we know that all members of the Scottish National Party who are elected to that Assembly have as their principal and almost their sole objective the break-up of the United Kingdom.

Mr. Dewar

As far as I am concerned, I am planning this Assembly as part of the Government of the United Kingdom. Of course, I may lose the argument in Scotland, and the Scottish nationalists may win that argument and take us out of the United Kingdom. Then, it is a different ball game. We shall not be talking about an Assembly at all. We shall be talking about a sovereign, independent Parliament and a sovereign, independent nation. While we remain in the United Kingdom, however, I want a workable Assembly which will be seen to have the powers and the range of initiatives which any elected body would expect.

We come to the extraordinary argument of the hon. Member for Edinburgh, North (Mr. Fletcher). As I understand it, he is saying that we cannot allow these committees to be set up at discretion because if we do there will be, or there may be, a clash with Westminster.

Mr. Nick Budgen (Wolverhampton, South-West)

Will the hon. Gentleman give way?

Mr. Dewar

No; I am sorry. A lot of hon. Members are trying to get into the debate.

I am certain that the way to reach a position of friction, the way to induce a clash betwee Westminster and the Assembly, is for Westminster to say to the Assembly "We give you a very narrow and well-defined series of remits and we shall not give you any element of discretion even to discuss matters that lie outwith them."

Mr. Bugden


Mr. Dewar

No. I have said "No". Of course, we do not attempt to cabin and confine local authorities in that way. No doubt we occasionally get impatient when local authorities in our area pass resolutions which seem to us to be draft. But we do not say to local authorities "You are not allowed even to discuss matters which obviously are of general interest to your electorate and which impinge upon the remit which you properly have."

Of course, we are right, as the Government have done, to limit very carefully the legislative powers and functions of the Assembly. We are right to try to tie down very precisely what its executive remit is. But if we say to the Assembly "You are not allowed, on an ad hoc basis, when it seems appropriate for you, even to discuss and to investigate wider matters in order to offer advice to the United Kingdom Government"—because there will be a dialogue—that seems to me to be a remarkable doctrine.

Mr. Alexander Fletcher

I think that the hon. Gentleman is rather confused on this point. First, we know that local authorities make statements on matters quite outwith their normal remit, but they do not make those statements in committees that they form specially to discuss foreign affairs, North Sea oil or anything else. Therefore, the analogy does not hold water at all. I understand that the hon. Gentleman is a very keen supporter of the Assembly. If he wants it to work and to earn a reputation for itself, he should realise that it should get on with the job that is being devolved to it and not get involved in other outside subjects.

Mr. Dewar

Of course it should get on with the job. In order to get on with the job, it must have the right to gather information and to have dialogues with the United Kingdom Government on all sorts of matters, such as the nationalised industries, which are obviously extremely relevant to its own find of operations. It is not a matter necessarily of setting up a formal structure of committees but a matter of merely having the power to have a committee where it thinks that there is a need and a cause for a specific investigation.

On the point about local authorities, if, instead of passing resolutions with no investigation, the local authorities set up committees to investigate before they spoke, we might on occasions have a rather more worthwhile dialogue with them on various matters.

We must not take this to ludicrous extremes, but if a local authority or the Scottish Assembly wanted to look at, as I say, the nationalised industries or the impact of North Sea oil on the economies of the Highlands, it seems to me to be, constitutionally, a ludicrously cheese-paring attitude to deny it that right.

This was nothing to do with extending the Assembly's legislative or executive powers. It is merely a matter of giving it a little bit of freedom to operate in a sensible way. It seems to me to add, therefore, to the debate in Scotland, which will continue, about the future of Scotland. The attitude which has been displayed in support of the motion is very unfortunate. I hope that the House will throw it out.

Mr. Powell

Greatly daring, it appears to me that both the Secretary of State and another place have not understood clause 26 and that, correctly understood, clause 26 renders Lords amendment no. 57 superfluous. Clause 26 is a permissive clause, but it is clearly not an unnecessary clause. In being permissive, therefore, of what it contains, it is prohibitive of what it does not contain. It says what sorts of committees may be appointed. Clearly, therefore, no committees other than those mentioned in clause 26 may be appointed, otherwise the clause is worse than a waste of paper.

So we look to the clause to see what sorts of committees may be appointed because they are the only ones which may be appointed. They are committees with functions. A committee cannot operate outside its terms of reference, and "functions" certainly is not a wider concept than "terms of reference". When a committee is set up, it is not simply set up with no terms of reference and no job to do. It is set up to do a defined job, and those are its functions. It cannot do anything outside those functions because the parent body is responsible for telling it what it can do and what it cannot do.

There is no point in our debating what the Assembly could debate. That is not in issue here. But a committee must attend to what is within its terms of reference. So we look at clause 26 to see what will be within its terms of reference, and what its terms of references will be are: functions extending to any matter which…is a devolved matter. Therefore, no committee can be given functions which do not extend to a devolved matter. Such a committee cannot be set up.

The only remaining question, therefore, is what is meant by "extending to". It does not appear to me that it means "including". It must be an outer limit of the functions of any given committee, and in totality the functions of all the committees could equal the total of devolved matters. Therefore, the notion that a committee can be set up which can do anything but address itself to a devolved matter or matters is in contradiction with the meaning of the clause.

No doubt it is desirable that debates at large should be confined to the Assembly itself. I agree with those who have said that it would be absurd for committees to concern themselves with such general de- bates. But, under the clause as it stands, they cannot do so, because it would not be within their functions, and no committes without functions limited to devolved matters can be set up by the Assembly.

I think, therefore, that we can happily disagree with the Lords in the said amendment 57, but not for the reason given by the Secretary of State. I dare say that he does not mind about that, however.

Mr. Dalyell

Once again the Lords have performed a useful function, and I must say to the Minister of State that it is all very well to say that the Lords have performed their duty rather more quickly than we have in this House. The truth is that the whole attitude in the Lords towards speaking is different.

Perhaps I can illustrate, Mr. Speaker. It will be within your recollection how, in the early 1960s, George Wigg, now the noble Lord, Lord Wigg, used in this House to cross-question Conservative Ministers of Defence at enormous length. I asked him the other day why on betting and gaming he did not do in the Lords what he had done in the Commons in his heyday. He said "It is not a matter of health or age; it is a matter that in this House of Lords you cannot do this because of the conventions and it would be counter-productive to try." That, I submit, is part of the reason why the Lords scrutiny of the Bill has taken a far quicker turn possibly than our own.

On this whole matter the Secretary of State and I live on different planets. He said that it was unlikely that the Assembly would wish to set up a committee to discuss non-devolved matters.

11.30 p.m.

I cannot think that any Assemblymen are likely to permit these constraints to be placed upon them. We are not talking about a county council. We are talking about people who will regard themselves as Members of a Scottish Parliament, with all the trappings of Parliament and who will not—and here I think I will have the support of hon. Members on the third Bench opposite below the Gangway—be deferential in any way. They will not be inhibited in any way.

If the hon. Member for Edinburgh, North (Mr. Fletcher) who is temporarily absent, thinks that the Assemblymen will stick to the job as it is designed here, he is displaying great naivety. They will not be encapsulated in any cage of that sort. Their own estimation of their power and authority will far exceed that.

In another place Lord Kirkhall said: Perhaps some of the difficulty derives from the word 'functions', which can bear a variety of meanings. In relation to Ministers, functions' means powers and duties. Thus, Scottish Secretaries will inherit from Ministers functions in relation to devolved matters. In relation to Assembly committees, functions' means much less, because the committees will not be executive bodies. Neither the Assembly nor Scottish Secretaries will have functions ', meaning powers or duties, in relation reserved matters There is nothing that they can do about defence policy or, as the noble Earl, Lord Ferrers, has just mentioned, foreign policy, or about the question of industrial relations, which he also touched upon. I have read all of that so as not to be accused of truncating the case and taking things out of context. Lord Kirkhill went on: There is nothing to stop them discussing these matters, of course, but there is nothing that they can do about them, and that is the point which I wish to emphasise to your Lordships. The Minister says that there is nothing to stop the Assembly from discussing matters but there is nothing that it can do. We are setting up—my hon. Friend the Member for Glasgow, Garscadden (Mr. Dewar) will correct me if I have got it out of context—committees which, by definition, will be talking shops.

Mr. Dewar

My hon. Friend will surely accept that what the Committees can do is influence this place and the United Kingdom Government. Secondly, they can examine the impact of United Kingdom measures on Scottish legislation and amend Assembly policy in devolved areas. That seems to be an important process.

Mr. Dalyell

That is an optimistic way of looking at it. Perhaps the chief factor which separates me from many of my hon. Friends in this matter is that for 16 years I had experience of contesting a parliamentary seat, chiefly with a Conservative opponent, but on five or six occasions—when they lost their deposits —with SNP candidates. I have no doubt, having lived with this for so long, that the SNP will not be satisfied with a deferential talking shop. That is not what it is in business for. I think that SNP Members would agree. I have long experience of this, longer than some of my hon. Friends. They have had far greater industrial experience. I do not doubt that those in Western Scotland, such as my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State, have had far more acute problems in industry than I have had in West Lothian. I do not argue that I have had a special problem. I have just had a different kind of political problem. This alters my outlook. We must not be naive about this. The idea that these committees will be cosy and content with their role and will remain within the guidelines which are acceptable to the House is unreal.

In the other place a question was asked but not answered when Earl Ferrers said: If the Assembly, having a Party majority that was different from that at Westminster, declared that its sympathies lay with those who demanded 20 per cent., as against the Government's pay policy restrictions of 10 per cent., it would be wrong to permit the Assembly to set up committees which could deliberately and directly embarrass Westminster. This would be highly undesirable."—Official Report, House of Lords, 29th June 1978; Vol. 394, c. 408–412. This is just one example of what would almost certainly happen and here, as in so much else, there would be the seeds of substantial conflict.

Mr. Gordon Wilson (Dundee, East)

The hon. Member for West Lothian (Mr. Dalyell) was at the peak of his form again in imagining what is likely to be the outcome in the Assembly. I think that he strayed from the negative aspects of the amendment and the positive aspects of having committees which can look at the whole general framework of Scotland.

I speak as one who is self-confessed as wanting a fully sovereign Parliament. There is no real difficulty about equating both the factors that I have mentioned in the Assembly structure, because it will be a non-sovereign Assembly: certain limitations will be placed upon it. If we are successful, all that we can do will be with the consent of the electorate. We shall not be able to go further than the electorate will allow.

The right hon. Member for Down, South (Mr. Powell) argued that, according to his interpretation of clause 26, the Assembly would not be allowed to set up Committees outwith its functions. That is an interesting concept. In this debate we are dealing with the Lords amendment, which is very much misdirected paternalism in that it seeks to bind the Assembly in constricted bands before it comes into existence and before the working experience of its Members comes into effect.

Mr. Alexander Fletcher

I believe that the Secretary of State's interpretation of clause 26 was correct and that the clause is part of the provisions for standing orders. The fact that the clause says that the Assembly may include provisions means that the clause is indicative and there is no reason why the Assembly could not have the sort of Committee that we on this side have been trying to prevent it from having and which the Secretary of State wants to encourage it to have.

Mr. Wilson

I did not say that I accepted the view of the right hon. Member for Down, South. I said that there is nothing that we can do at this stage about clause 26 except consider the Lords amendment to it. My interpretation of the terms of the clause agrees with that of the Secretary of State and the hon. Member for Edinburgh, North.

There are advantages in giving powers to the Assembly—even permissive powers —to set up Committees which will consider matters which are not narrowly bound in with the functions of the Assembly. I am thinking of one of the subject headings mentioned by the Secretary of State—oil. In that respect one gets involved in the onshore activity—roads, marine works, housing, and environmental services. All these functions are involved in the macro-development of the oil industry off the coast of Scotland. It is obvious that, regardless of the political aspects, the Assembly will want to consider the effect of certain rates of oil development on the onshore activity it must finance; and, if necessary, the Assembly will have to make representations on industrial matters.

The Assembly will not, regrettably, have much of an industrial role, but it will appoint members to the Scottish Development Agency and I suppose it may have some secondary responsibility for it. It may set up a Committee to oversee the operations of the SDA. If it does, it may wish to consider—through that Committee or through another one—regional incentives and matters which are important to the regional economies within Scotland. Certain aspects of transport are devolved, but air, sea and rail transport matters are largely excluded.

At some stage the Assembly may well want to look at the question of transport in Scotland as a whole and make suggestions for its better co-ordination. I do not think there is anything necessarily very heinous in that. The Assembly has been given some responsibility for agriculture. The same is true in fisheries.

That raises the points that Lord Kirkhill raised in the Lords. He said that if the Assembly considered these through its committee structure nothing more could happen, but I disagree with that. The Assembly could consider those aspects that are important to Scotland and perhaps give advice to the Secretary of State and seek to persuade him and other Ministers that changes should be made for the general good of the country. That advice would come from the operation of the Committee structure. There are, therefore, important benefits to be gained.

On amendment no. 58, I have no objection to building in the need for a balance, but I cannot see, given the political circumstances of the Assembly, that unbalanced Committees would be likely. Even in this place I have heard of disagreements about the composition of Commons Committees when there has been a neat position in the House. One cannot object to that happening. It is simply paternalistic.

Amendment no. 59 provides that the standing orders shall include provisions for the reporting of the proceedings of the Assembly. That is the sort of matter that should have been left to the Assembly to decide. It should decide whether it is to report and publish some aspects of its proceedings, or whether it wished some of these matters to be dealt with by electronic methods not necessarily involving publication. It is not worth objecting too strongly to these points, but I accuse the Lords of interfering too much in matters that are the affairs of the Assembly.

Mr. George Robertson

I was highly impressed by the eloquent and circuitous argument of the right hon. Member for Down, South (Mr. Powell) about the juxtaposition of clause 26 and the amendment to it. I do not feel qualified at this stage to counter the right hon. Gentleman's complex and highly convincing argument, but no doubt there is an answer to it.

Amendment no. 57 clearly seeks to underline the attempt that has been made to frustrate the openness of the debates in the Assembly and its committees. One prime advantage of the Assembly and devolution is that there will be a new openness in the discusion of the subjects that are to be devolved. The large range of duties and functions that are to be devolved presents a massive task for the Assembly. An unrealistic attempt at the beginning to shackle the Assembly by pretending that its Committees will be restricted to dealing solely with devolved subjects is unnecessary and petty. It indicates to me that when the other place considered the amendment its aim was to frustrate rather than assist the objectives of devolution.

Having sat through today's debate, I know that I am not allowed to quote from certain of the proceedings in the other place. I draw the attention of hon. Members, however, to the Official Report of the other place for 11th April, column 470, lines 33 and 34, where Lord Wigg's view is reported—I concur with it—on the attitude of the Lords to devolution.

The basic subject of agriculture is not devolved to the Assembly. But how can the Assembly consider in Committee all aspects of rural policy, including transport and housing, without seriously considering the implications of that policy for agriculture, and of agriculture for it?

11.45 p.m.

The police service is still not a devolved subject. Yet how can the Assembly, in the detailed work that its Committees will do, consider social problems, housing and deprivation, which by common consent are at the roots of the problems of law and order in Scotland, as in the rest of the country? Clearly the discussions would be bound to extend into areas which technically would infringe upon the limitations established in this amendment.

Tourism is an area of policy devolved to the Scottish Assembly. It will be of crucial importance in the development of an economic policy for Scotland in the Scottish Assembly. Yet how can a Committee of the Assembly consider aspects of tourism, developing tourism policy and areas in which tourism could be developed if it is not also to consider some aspects of foreign policy, foreign markets, the type of foreign tourist to be attracted, and the nature of the problems involved in foreign currency? It will be essential for such a Committee to consider these matters if it is to deal in the proper manner with the subject-matter of the areas devolved to it.

If the Assembly itself in its major chamber can discuss these subjects, it is ludricrous to deny the same right to the Committee structure in which the detail of these matters will be considered.

Mr. Robert Hughes (Aberdeen, North)

Is my hon. Friend really saying that the Assembly should have the right to set up Committees to pass judgment on every piece of legislation which may come before this House, that is not related to devolved matters? Does not he see the danger there of the Assembly demanding the right to have its say and demanding that Scottish Members of Parliament should follow the Assembly line rather than deal with the legislation in this House?

Mr. Robertson

I think that the Scottish Assembly can do that, anyway. But simply because it is denied the right to set up a Committee will not prevent it from doing the horrifying things that those who are hostile to the concept of devolution believe that it will do anyway.

All this amendment does is deny the right to the Committees to make this sort of perambulation round these subjects. It does not deny the right of the Chamber or of the Assembly itself to discuss any matter that it chooses, whether it is considered by this Assembly, by the European Assembly or by the United Nations. All that we are talking about here is restricting the area of the Committees. If it is possible to speculate that the Committees would do it, why would not the Chamber and the full Assembly itself do it? I believe that it will do it anyway. By virtue of its existence, its powers and its responsibilities, I believe that it will have to consider matters which are slightly and sometimes considerably out-with its remit. Members of it will be responsible people, and I believe that it is important that the discussions that take place on these matters are held in public in the Committees and do not become the subject matter of private, closed discussions outwith the Scottish Assembly. That is where it would be, in any event, if the sort of restrictive amendment that this represents were passed.

Mr. Iain Sproat (Aberdeen, South)

I want to direct a few remarks to Lords amendment No. 57. I agree strongly with the cogent speech of my hon. Friend the Member for Edinburgh, North (Mr. Fletcher). It would be disastrous for a Scottish Assembly to have the power to set up Committees on subjects for which it has no responsibility. Already we are giving the Assembly the power to make great mischief. We ought to be trying to limit the amount of mischief that it can do.

As the Secretary of State said, the Assembly will have to discuss at a tangent matters such as North Sea oil. It is impossible to discuss housing in Grampian without impinging upon North Sea oil. We understand that. But that is very different from giving the Assembly the power to set up Committees on oil, on defence and on foreign affairs. The whole concept is ludicrous.

There are a number of reasons why we ought to object to this proposal. The first is that undoubtedly it would cause conflict. One factor which has emerged from these debates time and again is that this Bill inevitably will cause conflict between a Scottish Assembly in Edinburgh and the House of Commons here at Westminster. Even a Conservative Administration in Edinburgh and a Conservative Administration at Westminster would no doubt find something to quarrel about, once the Scottish Assembly had the power to start shooting its mouth off on North Sea oil, for example.

Let us assume the ludicrous—that there is a Liberal Administration in the Scottish Assembly. The Liberals have been asking that 50 per cent. of all money from North Sea oil should be spent in Scotland. That was their absurd contribution to the great oil debate. I am glad that the hon. Member for Inverness (Mr. Johnston) has just returned to the Chamber, because it was his absurd idea that 50 per cent. of North Sea oil revenue should be spent in Scotland. Suppose that happened. Imagine the conflict between the Liberal Administration in Edinburgh and a Conservative or Labour Administration here. That is just one example of the way in which the setting up of Committees on subjects for which the Assembly has no responsibility whatsoever causes more division and conflict between London and Edinburgh.

Apart from the conflict, there is no doubt that if we set up Committees in the Scottish Assembly to discuss subjects such as North Sea oil, income tax and foreign affairs, it would raise expectations in the minds of the Scottish people—expectations that the Assembly has no power to fulfill. This would lead to disillusion with politicians of all kinds—here and in Scotland. It would also lead to a Scotland against England conflict, which I regard as the greatest danger in the Bill.

As well as causing mischief, creating conflict and raising expectations, there is another danger in this power. It would cost money. If a Committee were set up to look into the subject of North Sea oil, there would be a whole raft of new civil servants. These civil servants would have to be paid salaries. There would be specialist staff who would have to be paid. Scottish Assemblymen would be sent to Norway and Saudi Arabia to see how things were done there.

One of the main reasons why, in the referendum, the people of Scotland will reject the miserable idea of an Assembly, is the expense it involves. We already feel that we are overtaxed. The idea of being taxed again to pay for this ludicrous Assembly will lead to its rejection. This set of amendments will cost more money because of the need for more civil servants, more specialist staffs, and more incentives to travel.

It will be hard enough for the people of Scotland to distinguish between the duties of community councillors, district councillors, regional councillors, Scottish Assemblymen, Members of the House of Commons, and Members of the European Parliament. All these people will have different responsibilities and the duties of the different layers of government will be misunderstood. How much more will they be misunderstood and give rise to misunderstanding and conflict if the Scottish Assembly is given powers to set up Committees to make policy statements on areas in which it has no responsibilities? This will lead to quango-itis, and there are too many quangos already.

Because of the mischief and conflict that will be caused, because of the raising of expectations which cannot be fulfilled and because it will all cost more money, I hope that the House will reject the amendment.

Mr. Robert Hughes

I do not think that we can avoid the Assembly having general debates, but we can make clear from the beginning that the Assembly should have its say outside of devolved matters as an exception rather than as a rule. We are setting up an Assembly to do the practical work for Scotland—that is its prospectus.

If we say that the Assembly should have power to set up Committees, it will be impossible to resist the temptation to have Committees on everything simply because it would seem mean and petty for the Assembly not to have a committee to look at the social security system, for example, or national insurance.

Therefore, there would be the real possibility of Committees being set up to spend months looking at particular White Papers and particular legislation passing through this House on non-devolved matters. Then we shall find the press crying out that the Assembly has spoken, spent months looking at a problem and that Scottish MPs must therefore listen to the Assembly. Then, if Westminster does not take the view of the Assembly, we shall see the headlines in the Daily Record and The Scotsman reading "Westminster rejects the Assembly again."

This constant to-ing and fro-ing is what the SNP seeks to foster. My hon. Friend the Member for Hamilton (Mr. Robertson) should not get upset because he thinks that because people have practical objections and are hostile to the Assembly they are hostile to devolution and to him. They are trying to point to the real problems that may arise. Willie Wolfe of the—SNP has said that his party will take everything in the Assembly to the veto and will insist that the Assembly pronounces on all these matters.

The convention obviously will have to be settled, and my hon. Friend the Member for Glasgow, Garscadden (Mr. Dewar) was correct in his view. The convention is as important as what is written in the Bill. We should make it clear that the Assembly's function is to deal with devolved matters, namely, the practical day-to-day affairs. I would not deny it the right to make pronouncements on overall matters, but that should he the exception rather than the rule. There is nothing anti-Scottish about that because we are dealing here with strictly defined constitutional devolution. We must bear these matters in mind from the beginning, otherwise we shall be on the road to disaster.

Mr. Millan

Nobody has argued for Lords amendment no. 55, which would make Committees mandatory. Therefore, I hope the House will agree with our motion to disagree with it. However, I believe that Lords amendment No. 58 will be generally acceptable to the House. Therefore, the only question we are left with in dealing with this group of amendments is whether the Assembly should be prohibited from having a Committee to deal to any significant degree with any devolved matter.

The right hon. Member for Down, South (Mr. Powell) argued that the wording of clause 26 already prevented that from happening. My advice is that that is not the position, and that there is nothing in that clause which would prevent the establishment of a Committee by the Assembly which dealt with devolved matters, either incidentally or in a significant way, as well as with non-devolved matters.

The argument has been whether we should specifically exclude a Committee of the Assembly from dealing with non-devolved matters. One has only to heed the various examples given in the debate to have it demonstrated that that would be an unnecessary, and indeed unworkable, restriction to put on the Assembly. I mention the subject of North Sea oil, as well as particular aspects of transport in Scotland which would be of some significance to the Assembly which has certain transport functions devolved to it, but the Assembly will also want to take into account what is happening in non-devolved functions. We have also had illustrations from agriculture, and one could even cite the case of fisheries. In view of the present feeling about fisheries, it would be a bold Member who tried to prevent the Scottish Assembly from even talking about fisheries in committee or in full session. On the point about full session—

Mr. Pym

Will the right hon. Gentleman give way?

Mr. Milan

No, I have only one minute to go.

Mr. Pym

It will be too late then.

Mr. Milan

There is nothing to prevent the Assembly from discussing these matters in full Assembly outside a Committee, as has been acknowledged by the House this evening. That make it all the more absurd to try to write amendment no. 57 into the Bill to restrict what would be an ordinary, practical and sensible function of the Assembly Committees.

Mr. Pym

Will the Secretary of State give way?

Mr. Millan

This is the sort of matter—

It being midnight, Mr. SPEAKER proceeded, pursuant to the Order[4th July], to put forthwith the Question already proposed from the Chair.

Question, That this House doth disagree with the Lords in the said amendment, put and agreed to.

Mr. SPEAKER then proceeded to put forthwith the Questions necessary for the disposal of the Business to be concluded at midnight.

Lords amendment: No. 58, in page 12, line 25, at end insert— ("Provided that in appointing members to such committees referred to in paragraph (a) above the Assembly shall secure that the balance of parties in the Assembly is as closely as practicable reflected in the membership of each such committee.")

Read a Second time.

Mr. Millan

I beg to move, as an amendment to the Lords amendment, in line 1, leave out 'Provided that'.

Question, That the amendment to the Lords amendment be made, put forthwith and agreed to.

Mr. Millan

I beg to move, as an amendment to the Lords amendment, in line 2, leave out 'referred to in paragraph (a) above'.

Question, That the amendment to the Lords amendment be made, put forthwith and agreed to.

Lords amendment, as amended, agreed to.

Lords amendment no. 56 disagreed to.

Lords amendment: No. 57, in page 12. line 25, at end insert— ("(b) for ensuring that no committee shall be appointed with functions not relating to devolved matters").

Motion made, That this House doth disagree with the Lords in the said amendment.—[Mr. Millan.]

Question put forthwith:—

The House divided: Ayes 248, Noes 229.

Division No. 253] AYES [12.00 p.m.
Allaun, Frank Booth, Rt Hon Albert Cohen, Stanley
Anderson, Donald Bottomley, Rt Hon Arthur Coleman, Donald
Archer, Rt Hon Peter Bray, Dr Jeremy Conlan, Bernard
Armstrong, Ernest Brown, Hugh D. (Provan) Cook, Robin F. (Edin C)
Ashton, Joe Brown, Robert C. (Newcastle W) Corbett, Robin
Atkinson, Norman (H'gey Tott'ham) Buchan, Norman Cowans, Harry
Bagier, Gordon A. T. Butler, Mrs Joyce (Wood Green) Cox, Thomas (Tooting)
Bain, Mrs Margaret Callaghan, Jim (Middleton & P) Craigen, Jim (Maryhill)
Barnett, Guy (Greenwich) Campbell, Ian Crawshaw, Richard
Barnett, Rt Hon Joel (Heywood) Canavan, Dennis Cronin, John
Bates, Alt Cant, R. B. Crowther, Stan (Rotherham)
Bean, R. E. Carmichael, Neil Cryer, Bob
Benn, Rt Hon Anthony Wedgwood Carter, Ray Cunningham, Dr J. (Whiten)
Bennett, Andrew (Stockport N) Carter-Jones, Lewis Davidson, Arthur
Bidwell, Sydney Cartwright, John Davies, Bryan (Enfield N)
Bishop, Rt Hon Edward Castle, Rt Hon Barbara Davies, Rt Hon Denzil
Blenklnsop, Arthur Clemitson, Ivor Davies, Ifor (Gover)
Boardman,H. Cocks, Rt Hon Michael (Bristol S) Davis, Clinton (Hackney C)
Deakins, Eric Luard, Evan Sedgemore, Brian
Dean, Joseph (Leeds West) Lyon, Alexander (York) Sever, John
Dell, Rt Hon Edmund Lyons, Edward (Bradford W) Shaw, Arnold (Ilford South)
Dempsey, James Mabon, Rt Hon Dr J. Dickson Sheldon, Rt Hon Robert
Dewar, Donald McCartney, Hugh Short, Mrs Renée (Wolv NE)
Dormand, J. D. McDonald, Dr Oonagh Silkin, Rt Hon John (Deptford)
Douglas-Mann, Bruce McElhone, Frank Silkin, Rt Hon S. C. (Dulwich)
Duffy, A. E. P. MacFarquhar, Roderick Silverman, Julius
Dunn, James A. MacKenzie, Rt Hon Gregor Skinner, Dennis
Dunnett, Jack Maclennan, Robert Smith, Rt. Hon. John (N Lanarkshire)
Eadie, Alex McMillan, Tom (Glasgow C) Snape, Peter
Edge, Geoff McNamara, Kevin Spriggs, Leslie
Ellis, John (Brlgg & Scun) Madden, Max Stallard, A. W.
English, Michael Magee, Bryan Steel, Rt Hon David
Evans, John (Newton) Mallalieu, J. P. W. Stewart, Rt Hon Donald
Ewing, Harry (Stirling) Marks, Kenneth Stewart, Rt Hon M. (Fulham)
Faulds, Andrew Marshall, Dr. Edmund (Goole) Stoddart, David
Fernyhough, Rt Hon E. Marshall, Jim (Leicester S) Stott, Roger
Flannery, Martin Mason, Rt Hon Roy Strang, Gavin
Fletcher, Ted (Darlington) Maynard, Miss Joan Strauss, Rt Hon G. R.
Foot, Rt Hon Michael Meacher, Michael Summerskill, Hon Dr Shirley
Ford, Ben Mellish, Rt Hon Robert Swain, Thomas
Forrester, John Mikardo, Ian Taylor, Mrs Ann (Bolton W)
Fraser, John (Lambeth, N'w'd) Millan, Rt Hon Bruce Thomas, Dafydd (Merioneth)
Freeson, Rt Hon Reginald Miller, Dr M. S. (E Kilbride) Thomas, Jeffrey (Abertillery)
Garrett, John (Norwich S) Mitchell, Austin (Grimsby) Thomas, Mike (Newcastle E)
George, Bruce Molloy, William Thomas, Ron (Bristol NW)
Gilbert, Rt Hon Dr John Molyneaux, James Thompson, George
Gould, Bryan Moonman, Eric Tierney, Sydney
Gourlay, Harry Morris, Alfred (Wythenshawe) Tilley, John
Grant, John (Islington C) Morris, Rt Hon Charles R. Tinn, James
Grocott, Bruce Moyle, Rt. Hon. Roland Tomlinson, John
Hardy, Poter Mulley, Rt Hon Frederick Tomney, Frank
Harrison, Rt Hon Walter Murray, Rt Hon Ronald King Torney, Tom
Hart, Rt Hon Judith Newens, Stanley Urwln, T. W.
Hattersley, Rt Hon Roy Noble, Mike Varley, Rt Hon Eric G.
Hayman, Mrs Helene Oakes, Gordon Wainwright, Edwin (Dearne V)
Healey, Rt Hon Denis O'Hallcran, Michael Walker, Harold (Doncaster)
Henderson, Douglas Orbech, Maurice Walker, Terry (Kingswood)
Hooley, Frank Orme, Rt Hon Stanley Ward, Michael
Horam, John Palmer, Arthur Watkins, David
Howell. Rt Hon Denis (B'ham, Sm H) Park, George Watkinson, John
Hoyle, Doug (Nelson) Parry, Robert Watt, Hamish
Huckfield, Les Pavitt, Laurie Weetch, Ken
Hughes, Rt Hon C. (Anglesey) Pendry, Tom Weitzman, David
Hughes, Robert (Aberdeen N) Penhaligon, David Wellbeloved, James
Irvine, Rt Hon Sir A. (Edge Hill) Perry, Ernest Welsh, Andrew
Irving, Rt Hon S. (Dartford) Powell, Rt Hon J. Enoch White, Frank R. (Bury)
Jackson, Colin (Brighouse) Price, C. (Lewisham W) White, James (Pollok)
Jackson, Miss Margaret (Lincoln) Price, William (Rugby) Whitehead, Phillip
Jay, Rt Hon Douglas Radlce, Glles Whitlock, William
John, Brynmor Rees, Rt Hon Merlyn (Leeds S) Williams, Rt Hon Alan (Swansea W)
Johnson, James (Hull West) Reid, George Williams, Alan Lee (Hornch'ch)
Jchnson, Walter (Derby S) Richardson, Miss Jo Williams, Rt Hon Shirley (Hertford)
Johnston, Russell (Inverness) Roberts, Gwilym (Cannock) Wilson, Gordon (Dundee E)
Jones, Alec (Rhondda) Robertson, George (Hamilton) Wilson, Rt Hon Sir Harold (Huyton)
Judd, Frank Robinson, Geoffrey Wilson, William (Coventry SE)
Kaufman, Rt Hon Gerald Roderick, Caerwyn Wise, Mrs Audrey
Kerr, Russell Rodgers, George (Chorley) Woodall, Alec
Kilroy-Silk, Robert Rodgers, Rt Hon William (Stockton) Woof, Robert
Lambie, David Rooker, J. W. Wrigglesworth, Ian
Lamborn, Harry Roper, John Young, David (Bolton E)
Lamond, James Ross, Stephen (Isle of Wight)
Lewis, Ron (Carlisle) Rowlands, Ted TELLERS FOR THE AYES:
Litterick, Tom Ryman, John Mr. James Hamilton and
Loyden, Eddie Sandelson, Neville Mr. Ted Graham.
Aitken, Jonathan Boscawen, Hon Robert Carlisle, Mark
Alison, Michael Bottomley, Peter Chalker, Mrs Lynda
Arnold, Tom Bowden, A. (Brighton, Kemptown) Channon, Paul
Atkins, Rt Hon H. (Spelthorne) Boyson, Dr Rhodes (Brent) Churchill, W. S.
Atkinson, David (B'mouth, East) Braine, Sir Bernard Clark, Alan (Plymouth, Sutton)
Baker, Kenneth Brittan, Leon Clark, William (Croydon S)
Banks, Robert Brocklebank-Fowler, C. Clarke, Kenneth (Rushcliffe)
Bendall, Vivian Brooke, Hon Peter Cooke, Robert (Bristol W)
Bennett, Sir Frederic (Torbay) Brotherton, Michael Cope, John
Bennett, Dr Reginald (Fareham) Brown, Sir Edward (Bath) Cormack, Patrick
Benyon, W. Bryan, Sir Paul Costain, A. P.
Berry, Hon Anthony Buchanan-Smith, Alick Crouch, David
Biffen, John Buck, Antony Crowder, F. P.
Blggs-Davison, John Budgen, Nick Dalyell, Tam
Blaker, Peter Bulmer, Esmond Dean, Paul (N Somerset)
Body, Richard Butler, Adam (Bosworth) Dodsworth, Geoffrey
Douglas-Hamilton, Lord James Joseph, Rt Hon Sir Keith Rathbone, Tim
Drayson, Burnaby Kershaw, Anthony Rees, Peter (Dover & Deal)
du Cann, Rt Hon Edward Kimball, Marcus Renton, Rt Hon Sir D. (Hunts)
Durant, Tony King, Evelyn (South Dorset) Renton, Tim (Mid-Sussex)
Dykes, Hugh Kitson, Sir Timothy Rhodes James, R.
Eden, Rt Hon Sir John Knight, Mrs Jill Ridley, Hon Nicholas
Edwards, Nicholas (Pembroke) Knox, David Ridsdale, Julian
Emery, Peter Lamont, Norman Roberts, Wyn (Conway)
Eyre, Reginald Langford-Holt, Sir John Rodgers, Sir John (Sevenoaks)
Farr, John Lawrence, Ivan Rossi, Hugh (Hornsey)
Fell, Anthony Lawson, Nigel Rost, Peter (SE Derbyshire)
Finsberg, Geoffrey Le Marchant, Spencer Royle, Sir Anthony
Fisher, Sir Nigel Lester, Jim (Beeston) Sainsbury, Tim
Fleicher, Alex (Edinburgh N) Lewis, Kenneth (Rutland) Shaw, Giles (Pudsey)
Fookes, Miss Janet Lloyd, Ian Shelton, William (Streatham)
Forman Nigel Loveridge, John Shepherd, Colin
Fowler, Norman (Sutton C'f'd) Luce, Richard Shersby, Michael
Fox, Marcus McCrindle, Robert Silvester, Fred
Fraser, Rt Hon H. (Stafford & St) MacGregor, John Sims, Roger
Galbraith, Hon T. G. D. MacKay, Andrew (Stechfora) Sinclair, Sir George
Gardiner, George (Reigate) Macmillan, Rt Hon M. (Farnham) Skeet, T. H. H.
Gordiner, Edward (S Fylde) McNair-Wilsan, M. (Newbury) Smith, Dudley (Warwick)
Gilmour, Rt Hon Sir Ian (Chesham) McNair-Wilson, P. (New Forest) Smith, Timothy John (Ashfield)
Glyn, Dr Alan Madel, David Speed, Keith
Godber, Rt Hon Joseph Marshall, Michael (Arundel) Spence, John
Goodhart, Philip Marten, Neil Spicer, Michael (S Worcester)
Goodhew, Victor Mates, Michael Sproat, Iain
Goodlsd, Alastair Mather, Carol Stainton, Keith
Gorsl, John Maxwell-Hyslop, Robin Stanbrook, Ivor
Gow, Ian (Eastbourne) Mayhew, Patrick Stanley, John
Grant, Anthony (Harrow C) Meyer, Sir Anthony Steen, Anthony (Wavertree)
Grieve, Percy Miller Hal (Bromsgrove) Stewart, Ian (Hitchin)
Griffiths, Eldon Mills, Peter Stokes, John
Grist, Ian Miscampbell, Norman Stradling Thomas, J.
Grylls, Michael Mitchell, David (Basingstoke) Tapsell, Peter
Hall-Davis, A. G. F. Moate, Roger Taylor, R.(Croydon NW)
Hamilton, Archibald (Epsom & Ewell) Montgomery, Fergus Taylor, Teddy (Cathcart)
Hamilton, Michael (Salisbury) Moore, John (Croydon C) Tebbit, Norman
Hampson, Dr Keith More, Jasper (Ludlow) Temple-Morris, Peter
Hannam, John Morgan-Giles, Rear Admiral Thomas, Rt Hon P. (Hendon S)
Harrison, Col Sir Harwood (Eye) Morris, Michael (Northampton S) Townsend, Cyril D.
Haselhurst, Alan Morrison, Charles (Devizes) Trotter, Neville
Hastings, Stephen Morrison, Hon Peter (Chester) van Straubenzee, W. R.
Havers, Rt Hon Sir Michael Neave, Airey Vaughan, Dr Gerard
Hawkins, Paul Nelson, Anthony Viggers, Peter
Heath, Rt Hon Edward Neubert, Michael Wakeham, John
Heseltine, Michael Newton, Tony Walder, David (Clitheroe)
Higgins, Terence L. Ogden, Eric Wall, Patrick
Hodgson, Robin Onslow, Craniey Walters. Dennis
Holland, Philip Oppenheim, Mrs Sally Warren, Kenneth
Hordern, Peter Page, John (Harrow West) Weatherill, Bernard
Howe, Rt Hon Sir Geoffrey Page, Rt Hon R. Graham (Crosby) Wells, John
Howell, David (Guildford) Page, Richard (Workington) Whitelaw, Rt Hon William
Hunt, David (Wirral) Parkinson, Cecil Whitney, Raymond
Hunt, John (Ravensbourne) Pattie, Geoffrey Wiggin, Jerry
Hurd, Douglas Percival, Ian Winterton, Nicholas
James, David Peyton, Rt Hon John Wood, Rt Hon Richard
Jenkin, Rt Hon P. (Wanst'd&W'df'd) Pink, R. Bonner
Jessel, Toby Prentice, Rt Hon Reg TELLERS FOR THE NOES:
Johnson Smith, G. (E Grinstead) Price, David (Eastleigh) Sir George Young and
Jones, Arthur (Daventry) Pym, Rt Hon Francis Mr. Michael Roberts.
Jopling, Michael Raison, Timothy

Lords amendments nos. 59 to 62 agreed to.

Question accordingly agreed to.

Lords amendments to be further considered this day.—[Mr. Millan.]

Motion made, and Question proposed, That this House do now adjourn.—[Mr. Tinn.]

Mr. Speaker

If the hon. Member for Rother Valley (Mr. Hardy) will wait until the noise subsides, I shall time the Adjournment debate from when I call him.